A couple of interesting software programs for orienteering mapping have appeared recently. I haven’t yet looked in depth at either, but both could potentially be very useful for producing new orienteering maps and updating existing ones in the future, and I’m planning on investigating them soon.
The first is O-scape, a set of orienteering-map styles and functionality supplied as a plugin for Inkscape, which is the open source equivalent of Adobe Illustrator (the latter has the Map Studio plugin which I have used to create maps.) If O-scape is as functionally rich as MapStudio, and Inkscape is as capable as Illustrator, then I am planning on migrating my Illustrator maps over – the fully human-readable, flexible SVG format would be a big win. Inkscape is cross-platform (including Linux) and most importantly of all is completely free and open-source.
The second is GhettOCAD, an iPhone/iPad app that allows you to draw orienteering maps electronically as you walk around them! It’s in alpha-stage development at the moment, but could be very interesting.
A killer app would be mixing the two together – O-scape on an iPad. Now there’s a thought!